4 Ways Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps Miss the Mark

Since you’re reading a blog about personal finance, there’s a good chance you have heard of Dave Ramsey and maybe even follow some of his financial advice. Much of it is very helpful, simple advice that working adults managing their own finances should know.

If you are not familiar with Dave Ramsey, he hosts a syndicated radio show on personal finance and is the author of several books, including The Total Money Makeover.  The show instills his Christian beliefs and a very very anti-debt message.  In fact, he is so anti-debt that some of his advice misses several basic financial perks that leave individuals better […]

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Fixing Your Housing Costs Should Be Step One

The main reason I started Lacking Cents was to share my early struggles with money and how it changed my outlook on financial decisions.  People frequently associate money issues with being unemployed or reckless with money, but I was neither.  I started a good job shortly after college with health benefits and a 401K plan complete with a company match.  And I was never reckless with money.

But inexperience with handling my own finances led me to make costly decisions in the first year of my professional life, starting with where I lived.

I rented my first apartment shortly after graduating from college with […]

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2017-03-30T22:16:58+00:00 March 24, 2017 7:30 am|Categories: Budgeting, Housing|Tags: , , |2 Comments

An Emergency Fund is Essential For Our Family

Job loss. Unexpected illness or injury.  Theft.

When my family first decided to open an emergency fund, it was to protect ourselves against these major unexpected financial expenses.  While that continues to be a reason we maintain an emergency fund, it is the smaller unexpected expenses that make this account essential to us.

As I outlined in a separate article, we learned to better understand our monthly expenses and know approximately how much we spend in a typical month.  This is important to us because part of our paycheck goes to monthly expenses and the rest is automatically invested or put toward our mortgage.  In order to have fairly stable monthly […]

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2017-04-17T11:10:24+00:00 March 21, 2017 7:08 am|Categories: Budgeting, Featured|Tags: , |9 Comments

Budgeting 101: Your Monthly Expenses Need An Overhaul

I was flicking through the channels on my cable TV years ago when I stumbled upon premium movie channels HBO and Showtime. “Cool!” I remember thinking to myself…knowing when I signed up for my Time Warner cable package, I had only signed on for a lower package. “Free premium channels!”

You’re probably not as naïve as I was then. As you may have guessed, this was part of a free trial that later expired…but the premium channels stuck around at their regular monthly prices. My old self did not budget whatsoever, and with autopay set up the increasing cable bill went […]

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2017-05-02T21:45:00+00:00 March 16, 2017 7:00 am|Categories: Budgeting, Recommendations|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Our Financial Journey in a Nutshell

At some point, we all leave the proverbial nest. When we do we are faced with new realities. Some we are prepared for, and others we are not. While it’s impossible to be ready for everything life throws at you, I believe understanding personal finance is among the first steps young adults should take.  It has benefitted my family immensely and brings with it peace of mind only captured by feeling in control of your own future.

“Where do I begin?”

The problem is we don’t always know where to start. I learned this the hard way in the early years after […]

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2017-05-02T22:05:07+00:00 February 27, 2017 7:30 pm|Categories: Family|Tags: , |0 Comments